When Sachin Tendulkar bats, it's like an artist playing a 'raga' and the true legend of the game deserves the Bharat Ratna, legendary singer Asha Bhonsle said on Thursday.
Tendulkar smashed his fifth Test double hundred (203) and helped India post a strong reply in reply to the mammoth Sri Lankan total of 642 for 4 declared in the first Test innings of the second Test.
"Sachin should get Bharat Ratna. He deserves it. He has been bringing laurels for the country for such a long time. He is not just a batsman but an artist. When he bats it looks as if somebody is playing a 'raga'," Bhonsle said.
Former cricketers Ajit Wadekar, Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar have also demanded the honour for Tendulkar.
The veteran female singer said of all the legendary batsmen, Tendulkar stands apart due to his style and class.
"I have seen batting of Gary Sobers, Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richards but no one is like Sachin. His is a different style and no one can match him," she said.
Bhonsle, who recorded an album with Australian speedster Brett Lee, has a long time wish to sing with Tendulkar but is not sure if it will ever get fulfilled.
"I want to sing with Sachin also. But I don't think it will ever happen as he is always busy. Let's see if this wait ends."
She said fact that Tendulkar was named after legendary composer and her father-in-law Sachin Dev Burman, connects her to the batting icon naturally.
"I feel good listening that."
The 75-year-old singer said Tendulkar should play well beyond the 2011 World Cup.
"Why only till World Cup, he can play as long as he wants. He has passion to play cricket and this strong desire even inspires me to continue singing at this age of 75," she said.
She also said that Tendulkar's never-say-die attitude is a source of inspiration for her also.
"I get inspiration from him to fight defeats and odd times. Sometime he gets out cheaply and sometime he gets big scores. He never fears criticism and the one who does not fear defeat becomes Sachin Tendulkar," she said.